Combo Bass Recommendation

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dennis Hamblin, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Dennis Hamblin

    Dennis Hamblin

    Dec 23, 2014
    I am currently playing mainly through an Ampeg BA115 amp. I'm looking to upgrade. Have been looking at the Hartke HD500, the KB12 and KB15. Would consider other brands as well. We play mostly smaller venues, wine bars, restaurant bars and the like. Occasionally we play outdoors but in those situations I either have access to a combo amp or going through the PA and I do have the SCR-DI to keep the Ampeg sound. We play alt-country, country and a bit of roots rock. Not an incredibly loud band as we focus more on vocals and dynamics than volume. Band includes lead guitar, rhythm guitar, banjo (aka banjitar), mandolin, hamonica and drums. Budget up to about $800 give or take. Most of my stuff is rather subtle (think Rick Danko) and I like to provide more depth to the music rather than complicated riffs. Play an Ibanez SR-700 (4 string). Looking to see what recommendations y'all come up with to narrow my search.
    Giffro and iagtrplyr like this.
  2. iagtrplyr


    Apr 1, 2013
    Clinton, IA
    Dennis, you posted a great question and no doubt you’ll receive a number of fine recommendations. If you’d like, pop in the Combo Club’s thread and state your question there. We are all combos all the time and would be able to offer you some sound advice. Also, post an amp pic and I’ll give you a cool membership number of your very own.

    As for my thoughts, I’m assuming you have a first version BA-series combo, correct? Being you own the ‘Peg DI, I’d say you like that tone. I do too. So my first thought would be moving to their v2 models, possibly their updated 115 with XLR out so you can tie into the PA when needed.

    If you need more than 150 watts, I’d go with their 210 combo. Owned that one and it sounds fantastic. 48 lbs, if I remember and a little cumbersome due to its monitor-style cabinet, but you’ll need nothing else to fulfill your mission as Keeper of the Bottom.

    Though I haven’t played through Hartke combos, they seem to be a fine brand with kickback ability which I have a sneaky feeling you’re interested in. My only gripe is they’re advertising peak power ratings (500 watts) and not RMS ratings, which I think is 250 watts for the combos you mentioned. Maybe it means nothing, but I’ve never made peak power my deciding factor before knowing what continuous power was first. Your call in that one.

    While there are oodles of brands and models available, I’ll let someone else chime in with their opinion. You can tell us what your budget range is to help narrow it a bit too.

    Good hunting!
    Giffro likes this.
  3. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I've been very happy with my Fender Rumble 100. And I like ampegs too. With some EQ tweaks, I can get close to that Ampeg grind. Also does a nice warm vintage tone. If you want 15", look at the 200. Cheap, light and loud!
    Giffro likes this.
  4. Dennis, you have left us hanging!
    What have you decided or is it still a process? The process CAN be almost the best part...

    Will check the combo club thread.

    Almost went with the HD500 and think it would have more than suited any of my needs for at least next 18 months and probably beyond.

    Finally found a good deal on a barely used GK MB212 II combo. 41 lbs, 500w @ 4ohms utilizing internal speakers. Any extension would require power.

    Just getting to know the amp and it could be more than needed for smaller gigs but seems capable for most clubs up to 300-400 capacity.

    Good luck.
    Hope you find one that really clicks.
  5. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2019
    I’ve played through one if these little GKs only once many years ago with my T-Bird and it was the best sounding combo I had ever used. I assume that’s why they are so expensive used.
    iagtrplyr and DrMole like this.
  6. iagtrplyr


    Apr 1, 2013
    Clinton, IA
    Keith, I think after two months without a sound we can assume Dennis has left the building and we may never know the outcome to his plight. Sad.
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  7. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Linnin likes this.
  8. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Gotta Love A Happy Ending! :)
    alanloomis1980 likes this.